Thousands of fans came together to boycott the £14.95 pay-per-view for Liverpool’s match against Sheffield United and instead donated over £100,000 for the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative.
The game was the Reds’ first under the new ‘Box Office’ format shared between Sky Sports and BT Sport having not been selected as part of the regular broadcasting schedule.
It would set each fan back an eye-watering £14.95 to tune in, a price which was met with immediate objection by fans across all 20 Premier League clubs.
And since it came into effect earlier this month, fans throughout the division have raised money for local initiatives as part of an organised boycott against the clear exploitation.
Liverpool fans on those on Merseyside were no different, with the build-up to Sheffield United’s visit used to spread the message to instead donate the match fee, or whatever is affordable, to Fans Supporting Foodbanks.
“Don’t sign up to the profiteering. Boycott. There is a humanitarian crisis in our country, which is only going to worsen,” Spirit of Shankly said in a statement.
“We are asking that those fans who support our boycott of PPV, make a donation, whatever is affordable, to Fans Supporting Foodbanks.”
And fans more than answered the call having blown the initial £10,000 target out of the water as merely hours after the Reds had emerged victorious over the Blades, the money raised had surpassed the £100,000 mark.
At the time of writing, the exact figure sits at an incredible £104,147.81 with a total of 7117 contributions – which no doubt came from a united effort across Merseyside and the world.
Former Liverpool CEO Peter Moore was one of the donations, revealing a £5,000 contribution would be made through his foundation as he applauded the collective effort to “ensure our local families don’t go hungry.”
At a time when the Tory Government voted against supplying free school meals and continue to leave the city cash-strapped during a pandemic, the unity on show has been nothing short of amazing.
Never have the words “unity is strength” been more poignant.
* If you would like donate to Fans Supporting Foodbanks, you can do so here.